Brian Combs, Founder and VP of Services,
As an online marketing expert and Internet pioneer, Brian Combs specializes in bringing measura-
bility to marketing. Before founding Apogee Search with William Leake in 2002, Combs was director
of marketing and business development for Journyx, the leading provider of web-based time- and
expense-management solutions. At Journyx, he oversaw all marketing and strategic partnership
Since 2004, Apogee has grown to become one of the 20 largest SEO/PPC firms in the country, with
clients in the hundreds. The company has achieved top Google rankings for clients on horrendously
competitive keywords with high search volumes in spaces like consumer and auto finance, home
security, consumer-packaged software, online education, and insurance-type products.
Jerri: Where do you see the current state/importance of SEO?
The industry is still in the “Wild West” stage, but beginning to mature. As the ROI of SEO
is difficult to track (although not impossible), many SEO firms (and individual SEOs) are able to
get away with providing the appearance of value, while providing very little actual value.
SEO, of course, can be a very effective marketing technique, but like all marketing, efforts must be
made to track the results so that improvements can be made.
Jerri: What can organizations do right now to improve their SEO?
Install a tracking system. Find out what actually works.
Run a PPC campaign for 30 days to prove which keywords matter. Optimizing for
keywords with no search volume will not provide any benefit.
Put those keywords as the FIRST thing in their title tags.
Start link building.
Jerri: What should they be focusing on for future improvements?
Create compelling “link bait.”
Continue link building.
Invest more in a keyword selection testing campaign (PPC).
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